Hey can you guess what dads love to snack on in the evening? What was
your guess? _________________ If you guessed Pop-corn you were right. Ha ha
Our meditation for today is found in Prov. 22:11 "Whoever loves a pure heart and gracious speech will have the king as a friend."
Let's first settle the issue of the king, since we have no king in our country how could we apply that?
What this phrase is stating that if we strive to have these two character traits we will as a result have many friendships especially with people of influence.
Now let's learn just what is needed to retain a "pure heart". Look at what Paul guided Timothy to understand about this in 2 Tim. 2:22.
1) resist youthful desires that try
control our lives - popularity,
fame, beauty are a few; I'm sure
you could list more. ___________
2) strive for righteous living,
Living out strengthened faith,
Make loving others important,
Seek to enrich peace in yours &
Notice the second trait that draws others to friendship. Graciousness in our conduct not just our speech. If you look at the uses of the word graciousness you'll also notice that almost always mercy is included with it & many other times kindness is included.
In other words the tying together of these qualities. Gracious, full of mercy, and filled with kindness.
Of all the people in my life who embody these qualities daily I can only think of two people, my sister Nancy and my Dad. I have enjoyed meeting many people in my lifetime and many have followed a close second, but these two people have intensely led lives which have demonstrated consistently these qualities.
One time (my first full-time ministry experience) I was working as maintenance man at a Christian camp. As I remember I was being paid $20 a week and was putting most of that back into repair for parts.
One week when my home church group was hosting a conference at the camp; one of the camp directors behind my back accused me of abusing the camp account at a maintenance supply house.
I was only 17 at the time and had worked at getting many donations from my grandfather & dad as well as from dads company in order to turn several railroad cars into bunk housing for boys at the camp.
Those accusations came back to me through our pastor who was trying to defend my character. I was so upset that I began packing to go home & resign my position at the camp.
My sister heard the noise of me putting together my tools, clothes, etc. She listened as I called my dad to come pick me up, and my dad asked to talk to Nancy.
They together reasoned with me to stay through the summer and my dad said he would come to the camp (68 miles from home) that week end.
That experience taught me a valuable lesson in righteous & gracious living, which has helped me throughout my 50 plus years of ministry.
So Go With God He will protect & guide you in righteous & gracious living which will in turn bring many rich friendships into your life.